The HTC Desire 510 is the first Android device to feature 64-bit processing. HTC Corp.

Processors with 64-bit architecture are so 2013, but the HTC Corp. (TPE:2498) announced the first Android operating-system device to feature one of them just this week. The Taiwanese manufacturer described its HTC Desire 510 handset in a blog post Tuesday. Although the smartphone is designed to cater to the midrange market, its 64-bit architecture should mean it is extremely powerful.

The technology is similar to the one Apple Inc. (NASDAQ:AAPL) has been using in its iPhone 5S with the A7 chip since the handset’s debut last September. Subsequently, there was speculation as to when makers of Android-based devices would begin adopting 64-bit computing, which typically enables faster data processing than its predecessors.

Its 1.2 GHz quad-core Qualcomm Snapdragon 410 processor and associated technology aside, the HTC Desire 510 has pretty modest specifications, including a 4.7-inch display with 854x480 resolution, a 5-megapixel camera and 1 GB of RAM. Nonetheless, the smartphone’s power efficiency should be boosted by its 64-bit architecture.

Qualcomm Inc. (NASDAQ:QCOM), the chipmaker that supplies processors for many Android devices, has introduced several 64-bit processors during the past year. Its Snapdragon 410 and 610 series chips are designed to power low-end and midrange devices, while its Snapdragon 810 series chip is designed to power high-end devices.

As SlashGear has noted, Android incorporates elements of the Linux operating system, which has had 64-bit capability for a long time. As a result, Android also theoretically has that functionality -- it just had not been turned on. Until now, all that was lacking was the compatible hardware.

Google Inc. (NASDAQ:GOOGL) most likely will feature 64-bit technology more prominently in its Android L OS, which is expected to be released in October. The HTC Desire 510 runs Android 4.4 KitKat, but it could be updated to Android L in the future.

HTC has not announced specific release dates for its Desire 510. However, the manufacturer said it will be available in Europe, in Asia and via select U.S. mobile carriers.